Whether an employer has the right to fire an individual because they are at high risk of developing COVID-19 is complex. If your doctor has informed you that you may be at higher risk than others, and will likely develop severe symptoms if not treated, then your employer could be breaking the law by firing you. Furthermore, no matter what age group you fall into – as long as your doctor says that COVID-19 is more likely to affect those in certain age groups – employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their health status.
As the pandemic ravages the USA, statistics have shown that older workers above 65 years are at a higher risk. It has also become problematic for the group above to work from home. Before the pandemic, most of the aged workers could not telecommute.
High exposure risk job might require its employees to wear masks, gloves, and so on, as indicated by the nature of work and character of risk identified through danger evaluation.
Precautions are required due to high exposure risk jobs like situating in a remote area or working with the cut-down open door should not be necessary. Directors may ask for “at-risk” employees to wear face masks, gloves, etc. This will reduce the chance of spreading COVID 19 among other workers. However, these precautions do not permanently eradicate potential hazards.
There are several legal issues facing people with Covid 19 who are older adults. First, employers cannot discriminate against their employees based on health status or age. Second, directors can ask “at risk” workers to wear face masks and gloves as necessary for preventive measures, but these precautions do not permanently eradicate potential danger. Thirdly, there needs to be clear communication between management about what precautionary steps must be taken during this pandemic so that it does not cause panic among other workers at the workplace. Panic could lead to further spread, especially if no action were taken earlier on when reports of COVID-19 first emerged in workplaces where those diagnosed with COVID19 previously worked.
In conclusion, all employers should take precautions to shield their aged workers at a higher risk of Covid 19 from contracting the disease. Firing them is against the law.
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